A new social media startup app aims to merge the new with the old by reviving chatrooms and experimenting with augmented reality.
Based in Durham, North Carolina, SpokeHub allows users to follow topics, instead of each other, and chat with other users interested in the same topic. For example, users can search for and join the app’s Black Panther hub (which is one of its most popular). From there, they can contribute to the same conversation shared by every other member of the chat.
For more specific topics, users can choose to create “SubHubs” for subcategories within a larger one. Within the Winter Olympics 2018 Hub, users can enter separate chat spaces to talk about curling, figure skating and alpine skiing.
While internet chatrooms date back to the birth of the worldwide web, SpokeHub aims to set itself apart with a feature that has yet to enter social media spaces.
“We’re the first social media app to incorporate AR into our platform,” Keriane Enderline, SpokeHub’s Vice President of Sales, said.
From the app’s main screen, users can access prerecorded video content that can be accessed through scanning a SpokeHub logo with a cell phone camera. Enderline envisions the technology being used to connect users with exclusive movie content linked to the film’s movie poster, as well as other people interested in the new content.
Although the app introduces new features to the social media landscape, some don’t think the app will reach the same level of popularity as pre-existing platforms.
“I think it’s a cool concept, but I don’t know it’s unique enough,” Durham Moten, a Howard University freshman, said. “It does a lot of the same things that Twitter does, and GroupMe, so I don’t really know if it changes the game.
Because of SpokeHub’s similarities, Moten doesn’t see the app having success on college campuses where students already use their existing feeds and group messages to have virtual conversations.
Nonetheless, SpokeHub’s brand is growing quietly, as it recently began working with celebrities.
“George Lopez [is] on our team! He’s our first celebrity ambassador – he likes to chat with his fans.”